Ghost Of A Thousand have been touring the country and opening shows for Poison The Well, I caught up with Andy and Tom on the last show of the tour for a quick chat.

R13: Can you start off by introducing yourself and telling us what you play in the band?
Tom: I'm Tom and I sing.
Andy: And I'm Andy and I play one of the guitars.

R13: For those who haven't heard of you give us a brief history of the band?
T: We all met in Brighton but we're not local from there. Memby and Jag come from Manchester, Andy comes from Bournemouth, I come from Chichester and Gez is from Wales. We all met at college. These guys had already written music together and stuff and they were looking for a singer. I was playing in another band at the time and we were just on our way out really, and I heard some of the stuff they had done and thought it was awesome I asked if I could sing and they said yes. I only did one audition really and that was about it.
A: It's been about two years now.

R13: How would you describe your music?
A: It's kind of punk hardcore with rock and roll elements, with some post-hardcore stuff as well. It's more old skool then some of the newer stuff that's coming out at the moment.
T: It's really heavy rock and roll.

R13: You get a lot of comparisons to The Gallows do you have a good relationship with them?
T: Well, we're going on tour with them in June so it should be fine.
A: We've met a couple of those guys and they're really nice and an awesome band and they have opened a lot of doors for this kind of stuff.
T: It's a compliment to be compared to a great band so it's fine by me. I think we both that we are actually quite different but we are quite happy with the comparisons, it's fine so there's no problem.

R13: Tell us about your new album 'This is Where The Fight Begins'.
T: It's 26 minutes long.
A: 28 minutes long.
T: Sorry, 28 minutes long, I'm not counting the gaps.
A: 10 songs.
T: No ballads.
A: We recorded it last summer in 12 days I think, just south of London. Recorded it in 12 days then we sent it over to Marrakech to get it mixed by Kurt the lead guitarist from Converge, then it got mastered by the guy that does the Converge albums. We got it sent back and release it about a month ago.

R13: Do you guys have a certain processes you go through when writing and recording?
T: We do a lot of demos.
A: What we do is if I've got a guitar idea or Jag's got a guitar idea we'll record it so we can listen back to it hundreds of times and piece that together with other parts. Mem will come up with some drum parts and then vocals are usually the last thing to go on.
T: Yeah, I tend to wait.
A: Then we record it roughly in a home studio, then we start rehearsing it and then we play it live. So that's how we do things.
T: We're pretty critical of what we do, we're quite harsh so that kind of acts as a quality control on the record even up to the point where we've had songs for about a year and we're constantly rewriting and changing bits, to try and make it as good as we can.
A: While we were recording we did change little phrases and stuff in songs to make it more interesting. We're kind of perfectionists in that way.
T: Yeah, we're real pains in the arse. That's how we work best really.
A: And we are really happy with how the album came out.

R13: Which is the main thing! So do you guys enjoy the recording process? I know a lot of bands aren't overly keen on it.
A: It was really tough.
T: I got really ill towards the end of the record and it got to the point where I was having to do the singing parts then gargling warm whiskey to then be sick where it was so horrible, then start over again. It's really hard work, it's the first time I, and all of us really, had been in a really good studio, then working with Kurt was such a joy because he was a really nice guy and was happy to put up with us, he's just really cool.
A: The main thing that was a problem for us was this time was lack of time. All the guitars were done in four days, it was a bit of a rush to get it done but it was an enjoyable process. Just to be able to listen back to your songs and hear them big on strong makes you proud.
T: The only thing that would have made it rubbish was if the record was crap, but we're really proud of it so it was worth all the hard work.

R13: How did you become involved with the Poison the Well tour?
A: Basically, we did a gig at The Water Rats in London and the booking agent for Poison The Well came down and saw us and he knew the band from before, and we really wanted to do it and we asked him if we could do it.
T: If we weren't on the tour I would have been here (Wedgewood Rooms) seeing them anyway. It's so cool that they're back over, they haven't been here in about 4 years and we are on the tour. They are such nice guys and we've had such a great time it's been wicked.

R13: Have you had a good reception from fans on this tour?
A: Everyone seems really up for it. The best thing about Posion The Well is that they're not sucked into this whole new breed of mosh metal bands and all their fans seem to be really open-minded.
T: Poison The Well fans are fans of music rather than being into one band or a certain scene. They get all sorts of fans, hardcore kids, old skool metal kids. They don't just stand there being judgemental, they're into what you're doing. We've been giving everything we've got and they're here to have a good time and hear good music. So it's been pretty cool.

R13: You played two shows in one night recently how did that go? (March 10, Stoke with PTW and Bath)
T: It was interesting, we literally finished in Stoke then bombed it down the motorway to Bath and did a club night in front of about 100 pissed kids, which was really funny. We were actually quite pleased we pulled it off.
A: We booked a few shows before we got this tour so we couldn't really cancel that one so we just thought we'd do it anyway. We got off stage and just drove down to do it all over again, by the end of it we were like zombies, but it was good fun.
T: We were absolutely fine until we finished and then it hit us.
A: Then we stayed up til 4 listening to 80s metal.
T: Yeah, we just kept going, it got a bit surreal but you just got so tired. We only got to play for like 20 minutes in Bath because they had a curfew at midnight and we started playing at twenty-to, but in that was probably a good thing. It was a really good night actually we had two good gigs. One good gig is a good thing, but two is something else.
R13: Is it something you'd do again?
T: We're gonna go for three next time in different countries.
A: I don't think we'd say no to it but we'd try and avoid doing it.
T: It's good when you think about it but at the time it was really hard.

R13: How important is Ghost Of A Thousand to you?
T: It's my life, it makes me happy it's my band and that's it.
A: Being on stage for us is the highlight of any night because when we play live it's all about having fun and it is the most fun we get to have in our lives, you know, we've worked hard and this means so much to us. When kids buy our tshirts or our albums it's just an awesome feeling. We're really grateful to anyone who buys our t-shirts or albums because it means we can carry on doing this.
T: It's so flattering that someone wants to buy our t-shirt and wear our name. We do our own merch, we don't have a merch guy that just sits there all night. It means we can talk to the people that buy our stuff.

R13: Do you think it's important to be that involved in what they do? Do you run your own website and Myspace?
A: I'd like to think that we are quite personal, we will have a chat with you after shows, I think that's just polite. They've paid money to see you, we don't just play shows, sit back stage and leave at the end of the night, we like to meet people. I think it's better to make it personal rather than have someone who answers all your emails or having a whole team of people around you who just keep you away from your fans, I think that's a bit...it takes the point out of why people come you your shows.
T: There's nothing more disappointing than meeting a band you really like and finding out they're arrogant, it's a horrible, horrible thing.
A: Someone emailed me the other day asking where he could find our guitar music so he could learn to play and I emailed him back telling him how to play it. I hope it helped...it probably didn't make any sense.
T: We're not rock stars in anyway so we wouldn't act like we were.

R13: How does Gez manage to juggle his time between Ghost Of A Thousand and This Is Menace?
A: Basically when he's not with us he's writing for them, he goes up to London once a month to write stuff. They're writing a second album now, the project is coming along but all the members of that band are preoccupied with other things, Mark the bass player has a family, but they are writing new stuff now.

R13: What have you still got to achieve?
T: Make a band, set the record, tour more.
A: Try to build a loyal fan base, that would mean so much to us to play a venue and make 100-150 a night for a week, to do a tour like that would mean so much to us. I appreciate that we need to earn people's respect more for that to happen. We just want to better ourselves, always be bettering ourselves.
T: We're still playing in our junior street, there's no point in just going for a quick fix. So many bands take shortcuts and if you short cut to the top it's just going to make you descent much quicker, so we'd rather keep doing what we're doing and write better songs, be better live. Just keep trying to improve. While we're happy with the album there's a lot more we want to achieve.
A: We don't want to record that album again we want to do something different, but not so different the kids don't get what we're about any more, but we want to further ourselves musically and take it in a new direction.
T: We want to expand, the first record is really focused and we want to allow ourselves an little more space to breathe on the next one.
A: I think it's really easy to write a really wet second record because it's kind of a standard dish that people make a really angry and aggressive first record then bands think they can just sell any song, but we're still angry and pissed off about the same things and I still want to achieve the same quality on the next album so we have to stay aggressive.

R13: What can we expect to see from you over the next year?
T: You'll see us on the road, we might be recording a single but we're figuring out when we could do that. But we'll be on the road and we'll stay there and drop dead because of it before the next record and that'll be it, we'll all die of illness.
R13: Will you be playing any festivals?
T: I don't know, we're trying to sort out Download, we might be doing a festival in Spain which we be really cool, they kindly said they'd fly us out there so we're just trying to work out if we can do it, it would be great to get a bit of sunshine. But just to keep touring is the important thing.

Just as I'm wrapping up Gez pops his head round the door to tell the guys sound check will be in 10 minutes, at which point they both tell him that he has to answer a question, and Andy takes over my role as interviewer.
Andy: How do you balance time between Ghost Of A Thousand and This Is Menace?
Gez: This Is Menace records more, and doesn't play live as much as Ghost, we've only done five shows. Somehow I just do, basically. When we were doing the Aiden tour last year I had things going on with This Is Menace so I'd go in the dressing room and get on with it and do that for a bit then do the Ghost show. I just try and piece it all together, there haven't been any conflicts with it so far, so thumbs up about that! When we write we go up to Jason's house, near Birmingham somewhere, that end of the country. It's just preparation and letting people know what's going on in advance.
R13: It's all down to good planning.
G: Yeah it's just finding a balance between the two.
R13: That's great, thanks for your time and have a good show.